D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Simms ranks 49ers’ Trey Lance at No. 38 among top 40 QBs

May 24, 2021 at 1:54 PM--

Chris Simms of NBC Sports has started the countdown of his top 40 NFL quarterbacks, and San Francisco 49ers rookie Trey Lance made his way onto the list without ever having thrown a pass in the league. Lance landed at No. 38, one spot ahead of Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears (39) and one spot behind Kellen Mond of the Minnesota Vikings (37).

Lance's inexperience factored into his ranking, but Simms admits to loving the athletic quarterback's potential. Lance's size could create problems for wood-be tacklers in the open field.

"His arm, like a Justin Fields too, it's really powerful. It's really powerful," Simms said on his Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. "And I would say, really in a lot of ways, more powerful than Justin Fields because there is a little more consistency with mechanics and controlling of the football to where he can throw it hard and still control it."

Simms feels Lance needs to display more consistency on certain throws. The analyst needs to see more of that before moving up the quarterback on any ranking. There are also some concerns with Lance's mechanics.

"He doesn't throw through the elbow like Justin Fields ... doesn't swing the elbow up high," Simms explains. "But still, the motion can get very long and independent from the body, at times. ... Trey Lance, he can have some throws where you go, 'That's amazing on the run. That's great.' And then you have other games where you go, 'I don't know how you miss it, and miss it this bad, and miss it this many times.'"

Simms feels Lance missed about 10 "slam-dunk" throws in his single game appearance last season. COVID-19 postponed the Bison's 2020 campaign, so the non-conference matchup against Central Arkansas was Lance's only outing before his focus shifted towards the draft.

San Francisco surrendered a lot of draft capital to trade up and select Lance. The team plans to enter Week 1 with Jimmy Garoppolo as its starter, allowing the rookie to sit and learn. Still, some wonder if that will last the entire season. Will the 49ers be pushed to get their No. 3 overall pick onto the football field?

Simms was asked if we might see one former North Dakota State quarterback go against another when the 49ers host Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts during Week 7.

"To me, it's going to be on Jimmy G and how he plays," Simms responded. "Shanahan is going to get Trey Lance ready to go, and if he's got to play him, he'll find ways to make it good for him and make it work. I don't doubt Shanahan."

If Garoppolo is not playing well, Simms wouldn't be shocked to see a quarterback change. Much of that will depend on San Francisco's record by that point. Obviously, if the team is doing well and Garoppolo is proving serviceable, there will be little pressure to have Lance immediately supplant him.

Added Simms: "I'm excited to see Trey Lance and what he can do in the NFL when he does get in."

You can listen to the entire breakdown below. The portion about Lance begins at about the 30-minute mark.

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